Tag: celia viramontes


Bracero’s Hands

By Celia Viramontes

"...As they labored for days and weeks, Don Luis and the men awaited their check. But it never came. He and his buddies hankered to leave. They fished into their pockets for bus fare, but nothing turned up. ..."


Sounds of Home

By Celia Viramontes

"...When he’d settled in, he opened the gifts. Swatches of cloth, clothes and a brown rectangular object spilled out. His daughter traced with her finger the letters engraved on the radio: P-H-I-L-C-O. That night, the voices of Pedro Infante and Lola Beltrán flowed from the speakers, singing of love and loss. ..."


Fruit of Labor

Celia Viramontes

"... As the sun peeked above the Ventura skyline, a sweet aroma cut through the haze. Workers set up a table, spreading it with bread and coffee. They sat there – braceros and firefighters together – atop the hillside, amid the embers. Don Luis poured a cup of coffee and bit into the bread. It filled his empty stomach. Then he and his buddies followed the foreman for the downhill trek and drive back to the bracero camp, where lemons and oranges waited to be picked. ..."


The Tracks Home

By Celia Viramontes

"...But braceros murmured late at night. Some fellow villagers, ill or injured, hadn’t returned after a stint on other U.S railroads. Wives and mothers had implored officials in both countries, eager to learn the fate that had awaited their husbands and sons in El Norte. Still, Don Luis and his buddies toiled where Chinese and Irish laborers once had. ..."